Can’t Anyone Pass Dept. of Treasury Background Check?
March 16, 2009
President Obama has been extremely diligent in his efforts to thoroughly vett those who wish to work in his administration through stringent background checks. Hopefully, the fact that he believes in the need to do so bodes well for the screening industry and for the overwhelming majority of businesses across our country who conduct background checks on prospective employees.
Clearly, this mandate to perform proper due diligence on job candidates has trickled down to his cabinet. The New York Times reported last week that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has been unable to hire capable people in his department because no one can pass a background check. Without sounding political, most of the people he has tried to hire are Wall Street tycoons. (I’m sure many of you can think of a joke or two here.) It should also be noted that Obama came under fire when he appointed Geithner only to find out that he owed the IRS $32,000 in back taxes.
According to the New York Times, “To some extent, Mr. Geithner’s staff problems stem from his own failure to pay more than $32,000 in self-employment taxes. That slip-up not only embarrassed the Obama administration, which had prided itself on nominating people with unassailable backgrounds. It also nearly torpedoed his Senate confirmation, and caused White House officials to slow down the background checks for dozens of other nominees.”
What are they looking for? In a word, everything! Criminal Records, Tax Records, Civil Litigation, Credit Reports, Business Affiliations, Education and Employment Background, etc. Are these background checks too stringent? I don’t believe so. At least the administration has learned that it is better to know about any adverse information before someone is appointed. They are also sending a message to the American public, that past transgressions will not be tolerated.